During the summer of 1941 the US House of Representatives, by a vote of 203 to 202, continued selective service and allowed President Roosevelt to retain recently mobilized national guardsmen and other military reservists on active duty. Had the isolationists prevailed, and one vote gone the other way, over 500,000 men — half the strength of the Armed Forces of the United States — would have been discharged a few months before Pearl Harbor.

History has been a harsh judge of yesterday’s isolationists. Rightly so. About the only defense that can be made of those who voted to cripple the ability of America to defend itself is the country was not [yet] at war, even if the rest of the world was.

Five years after 9/11, and over four years since the US Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve the invasion of Iraq, one can’t use the nation-at-peace defense of Republican quislings in that same body now joinng the Defeatacrats to craft an “acceptable” no confidence resolution concerning the already in progress troop surge.

Have mistakes been made in Iraq? Without doubt. The biggest one was to lay off the defeated Iraqi Army and police instead of using them as a security force in Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle. But those mistakes have been made and there is nothing to be done about it.

We can only wonder how today’s cut-and-run crowd in Congress would have reacted to World War II setbacks like Bataan and Corregidor or V Corps losing 75% of its combat power before hitting the beaches on D-Day to name just two. Would they have debated the merits of non-binding resolutions urging President Turman to withdraw and redeploy troops defending the Pusan Perimeter or advocated benchmarks and timetables for the break out?

Hugh Hewitt’s excellent Townhall.com column calls the anti-surge resolutions “a political Gettysburg –without a Joshua Chamberlain” for the GOP. This is fitting. Chamberlian and the 20th Maine Regiment he commanded put their lives on the line in bloddy combat, held the flank in the Civil War’s pivital battle, and saved the Union.

Our troops in Iraq are holding a critical flank in the Global War on Terror. Those reinforcing them are our last, best hope to turn the tide there. Those in harm’s way stand in stark contrast to the Republican quislings who have placed their political careers ahead of the national interest.

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Cross posted at the Patriotic Rants blog.

[tags]iraq, congress, republicans, troops, military[/tags]